Performance Golf Training 3: Mid-Iron Distance Control 1

6 Responses

  1. Harvey Kirk says:

    Eric, I truely enjoy watching your videos and reading your newsletters. Everything is fully explained except how can one really learn their club distances when the hitting is taking place at a driving range with range balls that never seem to go the same distance as my game balls. Any suggestions?

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Harvey – Good question regarding range balls vs. regular balls. Yes, it’s true range balls usually don’t go as far as normal golf balls. I don’t think there is much difference, however, with the 9 iron and wedges. Maybe only a yard or two, and if you are that accurate with your yardage control, there’s a Tour that would love to have you. With the longer clubs, where you get more ball compression, there can be a bigger difference. On the range I think the focus is on developing a repeating swing that sends the ball a consistent distance. That distance is going to be pretty close. Then you fine-tune with what you observe on the course.
      When I do playing lessons I have my students calculate the exact yardage they are trying to carry the ball. We’ll use a range finder to shoot the distance to the pin. Then they subtract out an estimate for roll-out. When we get to the green we pace off the distance of the pitch mark on the green to the pin, and see how accurate they are. Over time you’ll get a pretty good feel for how far you carry your shots with each club.

  2. Ruben Q. Yabut says:

    This is as detailed and clear a discourse on the thought you want to impart to your audience as I have ever heard. Thank you very much.
    You see, Eric, I have this problem on ascertaining the carry distance of my clubs. It seemed to me that everyone of my clubs, from the 8-iron to to the driver, carry almost the same distance. I mean, the carry of my driver is not much more than.20 yards farther than my 8-iron. I’ve asked several pros about this problem but not one of them could find the fault in my swing. I’ve been told my swing is above average technically and have had kudos for smoothness.
    I’ll be practicing what you proposed here but could you give some hints on how to correct my problem?

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Ruben – Thanks! Glad you are getting some value from the posts! As for your question on distances with your clubs, whenever I see an issue like yours the usual issue is swing speed: in other words, you may not be generating enough swing speed to have much difference between club distances. The basic solution for this is to learn to swing faster. That’s one of the reasons I developed the 5 Keys To Distance training program – to help with swing speed. I’d suggest practicing swinging as fast as you can and learning to get your swing speed up. The other potential explanation could be your impact position, where your hands are behind the ball at impact (alternatively explained as the clubhead has already passed your hands prior to impact). This could be symptomatic of a number of issues, usually related to lack of core rotation toward the target, which causes early release. For this you’d have to watch a video and see where you are losing lag in the downswing. For help with this one, watch my distance training videos on the site. Do a little investigating, and then come back and leave another comment here on the site with what you have learned. Cheers!

  3. John B says:

    I like this a lot and try to follow it…… but …. (there is always one isn’t there) in practical terms how do you measure the landing/carry distance on a busy driving range or practice area?

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi John – Good question on measuring distances. I have a range finder that I use to find the distance to a landmark like a flag or other target on the range. I also then shoot the yardage to some object (sometimes another golf ball) 10 yards in front and 10 yards in back of the target. Then I watch where each ball lands relative to my yardage markers. At our range I set up orange pylon road cones at 10-yard intervals for my students, starting at 40 yards and out to about 130 yards. The farther you are from the target the more difficult it is to be accurate in your plotting, so you just have to do the best you can. We sometimes pair up and have the second person act as the spotter, then switch every 5 balls. Hope that helps!